International Young Naturefriends conference in Poland

SPPMD is a member of IYNF – International Young Naturefriends – “organisation bringing together Young Naturefriends and their organisations accross Europe”. During the second week of September our representative joined the IYNF conference in Poland that gathered participants from eleven countries.

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This September, the IYNF has once again called the national delegations of members and partners to join together at a networking conference. Participants were accommodated at a venue of the Polish Red Cross, located  in the lovely hillside around Kraków.

The main topic for this meeting was sustainability, what it is, what can be done to it, what it means to us and our organisations. Of special interest there was our guest from Canada, Lee Brain. He became known  for opposing a tarsands pipline project through his region, and since his own father is an engineer for these companies, Lee knows the subsequent fuckup these projects cause and tries to inform about it. To us he spoke about the “transition movement” he is part of, an organization that tries to motivate people to join together in an effort to make their communities more sustainable, which means to share materials, plant your own food, organize for solar panels and the likes.

What I also found very awesome was the presentation by hippie couple from Latvia. They made a film about their “freak biking” project in the city of Liepāja, where they collect thrashed and abandoned bikes and bring them to an abandoned factory hall, where the frames of the bikes are cut up and welded together again to create new, sometimes rather absurd vehicles, and drive them through town to promote bicylism. Their goal is also to bring arts and culture to Liepāja in order to stop the ongoing youth&brain-drain from this small town and give people a reason to stay.

I came to this event with the desire to hear some practical ideas of how to make the future more sustainable, because there’s always more talk than action, and only talking about it won’t solve a problem.

The atmosphere was relaxed as usual, the food vegetarian but decent, and the activites well planned. All in all I’d call it a success.

(People from the 11 following nations were present:  Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Canada, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Turkey, Portugal)


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Ferdinand Reimer
Young Naturefriends of Austria

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